DES MOINES, Iowa (October 27, 2014) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a new educational element of the Home Base Iowa program on Monday, October 27. The Certified Higher Academic Military Partner (CHAMP) program Monday, October 27, certifies colleges and universities for their ability to educate and assist veterans on campus.
Upper Iowa University was recognized as one of three Iowa schools that have already been CHAMP-certified as “veteran friendly.” The other two are Mount Mercy University and Des Moines Area Community College.
CHAMP certification will help attract veterans leaving the service to Iowa and help academic institutions market their campus as veteran friendly, Branstad said, noting that 495 veterans have found new jobs through the program. “This is another step toward ensuring service members transitioning to civilian life have the educational resources they need here in Iowa,” Branstad added.
“Upper Iowa University is deeply honored to be recognized among the first CHAMP-certified campuses in Iowa,” said UIU President William R. Duffy II. “UIU has been committed to serving the educational needs of men and women in active military service and veterans throughout its long history. From our educational centers on military bases, to our online and self-paced programs that follow soldiers during their deployments, to our home campus, nearly 15 percent of our students are active military and many more are veterans. Many of our faculty and staff also are veterans, and we understand the importance of education to veterans and the intense demands of pursuing an education while serving your country. We are proud to have so many recognitions of being a top military-friendly school, and we are honored to serve those who serve.”
To receive the CHAMP designation, Iowa schools must:
- Provide on-campus veteran resources, such as a full-time veterans’ representative, a veterans’ center and study space, and assistance with career placement.
- “Be mindful of” service members transitioning to civilian life, such as offering veteran-specific sections during student orientations and preferential registration dates for student veterans.
- Include financial aid considerations, such tuition reductions and specific scholarship opportunities.
Branstad first announced Home Base Iowa in November 2013. The Home Base Iowa Act was signed into law in May 2014. Legislation enacting certain provisions, such as exempting military pensions from state income tax, went into effect July 1.